John Cleland (racing driver)

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For other uses, see John Cleland (disambiguation).
John Cleland
Nationality  British
BTCC record
Teams Vauxhall
Drivers
championships
2
Wins 17 outright, plus 15 more in class
Podium finishes 98
Poles 19
Fastest laps 11
Debut season 1989
First win 1991 (outright), 1989(class)
Best championship position 1st (1989, 1995)
Final season (1999) position 13th

John Cleland (born 15 July 1952 in Wishaw, Scotland) is a retired British auto racing driver. He raced autocross and hillclimb in the 1970s, before achieving success in British Production Car and Thundersaloon championships, before joining Vauxhall for the 1989 British Touring Car Championship. He is currently a co-commentator alongside Martin Haven on the English world feed of the World Touring Car Championship which is used by Eurosport.

Cleland adapted quickly and won the title at his first attempt, in the days when the championship consisted of four separate classes, each in their own races but scoring points for the same title. John won 11 of his 13 races in class C for 1.5l cars. The 2-litre Cavalier was introduced the next year, in readiness for the single 2-litre format in 1991. Cleland finished 2nd in class in 1990 and 5th overall. The following year he won three races and finished second in the championship to Will Hoy, taking Vauxhall's first ever overall BTCC win.[1] In 1992 John battled with Hoy and Tim Harvey for the title, but was denied at the last round by a controversial collision with Steve Soper, the teammate of eventual champion Harvey. In 1993 and 1994 the championship was dominated by BMW and Alfa Romeo respectively, and John had to make do with fourth overall in both years.

1995 proved to be the breakthrough year for the Cavalier, ironically in its last year of competition. Despite the Volvo 850 and Renault Laguna often having the edge in speed, in the hands of Rickard Rydell and Alain Menu respectively, Cleland's consistent run of points finishes allied to a four-race winning streak in the mid-season allowed him to beat both drivers to the title. For 1996, the Cavalier was replaced by the new Vectra, which turned out to be a problematic package. Cleland finished 8th in the title chase. 1997 proved to be even worse, with John slipping to 12th in the standings and Vauxhall finishing bottom of the Constructors' title. 1998 was better, and John took two victories, both at Donington Park - a traditional happy hunting ground for the Scotsman - before a heavy crash at Snetterton interrupted his season. In 1999 Cleland was outpaced by team newcomer Yvan Muller and decided by mid-season to retire. He finished his last race at a wet Silverstone in tenth place, after being given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pits, which provoked a typically belligerent reaction from Cleland over a live radio link to his car that had been set up by the BBC.

Post BTCC[edit]

Aside running his long running car dealership, he has done several guest drives since, including appearances in a Dodge Viper in the British GT series, an ASCAR race at Rockingham, twelve Bathurst 1000s between 1993 and 2005 for Advantage Racing, Pinnacle Motorsport, Gibson Motorsport, Triple Eight, Greenfield Mowers Racing and Brad Jones Racing with a best finish of 2nd in the 2001 event, co driving with Brad Jones, and the BTCC Masters race in 2004.[2] He now runs a Volvo and Jaguar dealership.[3] His son Jamie has started a racing career. John is also a co-commentator for Eurosport on their WTCC coverage. He replaced fellow Scot David Leslie after his death in 2008.

Racing record[edit]

Complete British Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) Races in bold indicate pole position (1 point awarded all races 1996 onwards, 1989-1990 in class) Races in italics indicate fastest lap (1 point awarded all races - 1989-1990 in class) * signifies that driver lead feature race for at least one lap (1 point awarded - 1998 onwards)

Year Team Car Class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Overall
Pos
Pts Class
Pos
1989 Vauxhall Motorsport Vauxhall Astra GTE 16v C OUL
15
SIL
19
THR
19
DON
9
THR
15
SIL
Ret
SIL
21
BRH
14
SNE
16
BRH
14
BIR
16
DON
17
SIL
20
1st 110 1st
1990 Vauxhall Motorsport Vauxhall Cavalier B OUL
7
DON
Ret
THR
7
SIL
7
OUL
Ret
SIL
9
BRH
Ret
SNE
6
BRH
7
BIR
Ret
DON
12
THR
Ret
SIL
7
5th 128 2nd
1991 Vauxhall Sport Vauxhall Cavalier SIL
3
SNE
9
DON
2
THR
1
SIL
11
BRH
12
SIL
6
DON
1

3
DON
2

10
OUL
1
BRH
1

4
BRH
2

3
DON
1
THR
8
SIL
9
2nd 132
1992 Vauxhall Sport Vauxhall Cavalier SIL
1
THR
1
OUL
11
SNE
2
BRH
1
DON
1

2
DON
2

4
SIL
3
KNO
1

DSQ
KNO
2

3
PEM
Ret
BRH
1

4
BRH
2

3
DON
3
SIL
Ret
3rd 145
1993 Vauxhall Sport Vauxhall Cavalier SIL
3
DON
4
SNE
10
DON
7
OUL
2
BRH
1

Ret
BRH
2

5
PEM
7
SIL
6
KNO
1

1
KNO
2

2
OUL
3
BRH
12
THR
8
DON
1

Ret
DON
2

6
SIL
7
4th 102
1994 Vauxhall Sport Vauxhall Cavalier 16v THR
2
BRH
1

3
BRH
2

2
SNE
Ret
SIL
1

7
SIL
2

4
OUL
7
DON
1

1
DON
2

1
BRH
1

5
BRH
2

4
SIL
DNS
KNO
1

5
KNO
2

6
OUL
Ret
BRH
1

Ret
BRH
2

DNS
SIL
1

4
SIL
2

4
DON
1

8
DON
2

5
4th 177
1995 Vauxhall Sport Vauxhall Cavalier 16v DON
1

1
DON
2

2
BRH
1

Ret
BRH
2

Ret
THR
1

2
THR
2

5
SIL
1

3
SIL
2

5
OUL
1

2
OUL
2

3
BRH
1

2
BRH
2

1
DON
1

1
DON
2

1
SIL
1
KNO
1

5
KNO
2

6
BRH
1

3
BRH
2

1
SNE
1

13
SNE
2

3
OUL
1

3
OUL
2

2
SIL
1

3
SIL
2

3
1st 348
1996 Vauxhall Sport Vauxhall Vectra DON
1

5
DON
2

6
BRH
1

7
BRH
2

Ret
THR
1

4
THR
2

4
SIL
1

10
SIL
2

Ret
OUL
1

Ret
OUL
2

9
SNE
1

3
SNE
2

2
BRH
1

10
BRH
2

4
SIL
1

10
SIL
2

Ret
KNO
1

Ret
KNO
2

6
OUL
1

7
OUL
2

7
THR
1

5
THR
2

7
DON
1

6
DON
2

8
BRH
1

6
BRH
2

Ret
8th 97
1997 Vauxhall Sport Vauxhall Vectra DON
1

11
DON
2

Ret
SIL
1

6
SIL
2

6
THR
1

14
THR
2

9
BRH
1

11
BRH
2

9
OUL
1

5
OUL
2

12
DON
1

12
DON
2

8
CRO
1

6
CRO
2

5
KNO
1

10
KNO
2

6
SNE
1

7
SNE
2

16
THR
1

19
THR
2

11
BRH
1

13
BRH
2

12
SIL
1

12
SIL
2

11
12th 44
1998 Vauxhall Sport Vauxhall Vectra THR
1

4
THR
2

6
SIL
1

6
SIL
2

7
DON
1

1
DON
2

3*
BRH
1

6
BRH
2

9*
OUL
1

7
OUL
2

6*
DON
1

5
DON
2

1*
CRO
1

6
CRO
2

8
SNE
1

9
SNE
2

Ret
THR
1

THR
2

KNO
1

13
KNO
2

Ret
BRH
1

8
BRH
2

Ret
OUL
1

9
OUL
2

11
SIL
1

8
SIL
2

Ret
8th 106
1999 Vauxhall Motorsport Vauxhall Vectra DON
1

8
DON
2

4*
SIL
1

10
SIL
2

8
THR
1

7
THR
2

9
BRH
1

8
BRH
2

9
OUL
1

12
OUL
2

Ret
DON
1

6
DON
2

Ret
CRO
1

9
CRO
2

Ret
SNE
1

12
SNE
2

12
THR
1

12
THR
2

Ret
KNO
1

8
KNO
2

9
BRH
1

11
BRH
2

9
OUL
1

8
OUL
2

Ret
SIL
1

5
SIL
2

10
13th 51
  1. ^ – Race was stopped due to heavy rain. No points were awarded.

Complete Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain results[edit]

(key) Races in bold indicate pole position. Races in italics indicate fastest lap.

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Pos Pts
2004 Porsche Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 THR
1

THR
2

BRH
1

BRH
2

SIL
1

SIL
2

OUL
1

OUL
2

MON
1

MON
2

CRO
1

CRO
2

KNO
1

6
KNO
2

Ret
BRH
1

BRH
2

SNE
1

SNE
2

DON
1

DON
2

NC‡ 0‡

† - Not eligible for points

References[edit]

  1. ^ McGill, Jim (2006-09-04). "Podium finish for Shedden after surviving 100mph crash". Edinburgh Evening News (Johnston Press Digital Publishing). Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  2. ^ "Six more star names for BTCC Masters grid". seatsportuk.co.uk (SEAT Sport). 2004-08-16. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  3. ^ "Clelands". Clelands Motors. Cleland of the Borders. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Gabriele Tarquini
Autosport
National Racing Driver of the Year

1995
Succeeded by
Frank Biela
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Frank Sytner
British Touring Car Champion
1989
Succeeded by
Robb Gravett
Preceded by
Gabriele Tarquini
British Touring Car Champion
1995
Succeeded by
Frank Biela